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Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness    by William Bernhardt order for
by William Bernhardt
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2009 (2009)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

William Bernhardt turns back the clock to 1935 as Eliot Ness takes on a new challenge in Cleveland, Ohio. With his success cleaning up Chicago with his team of agents dubbed the Untouchables behind him, the fabled lawman goes to the aide of a beleaguered mayor who is trying to create some positive publicity for his city.

Named the city's director of public safety, Ness arrives just as a serial killer begins to terrorize Cleveland. Decapitated and dissected corpses are generating screaming headlines about the Torso Killer who has created an atmosphere of terror. Just the man to take over the investigation, Ness goes after the killer with the dogged determinism that enabled him to bring Al Capone down, but this is a criminal of a different ilk.

In this instance, Ness is after a criminal who has the perfect hiding place and the ideal plan for destroying his adversaries. The more energy he pours into the hunt for the deranged killer, the more it takes out of Ness' life, relationships, and even his untouchable reputation. For the first time in his career, it looks like Eliot Ness has met someone he can't put behind bars. In fact, not only has the famous hunter become the prey, but Ness may also be the one going down this time!

A first rate thriller set against the background of the Great Depression, this is a fascinating study of two men battling their own unique, personal demons. It doesn't get much better than this in crime fiction!

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